Should Apple and Google Ban Gab?

by on August 23, 2017 at 7:25 am in Current Affairs, Law, Web/Tech | Permalink

Gab is an app similar to twitter but it has a more permissive speech policy. According to company spokesman Utsav Sanduja, “Whatever is permissible under the First Amendment is what Gab allows onto its site.” Gab has attracted some users from the alt-right and seemingly for this reason Gab has been banned by both Google and Apple. I wouldn’t go so far as Aaron Renn who argues that “Google and Apple have used their duopoly status to revoke the First Amendment on mobile phones” but I do find these actions troubling.

I have no problem with Twitter or Facebook policing their sites for content they find objectionable, such as pornography or hate speech, even though these are permitted under the First Amendment. A free market in news doesn’t mean that every newspaper must cover every story. A free market in news means free entry. But free entry is exactly what is now at stake. Gab was created, in part, to combat what was seen as Facebook’s bias against conservative news and views. If Gab or services like cannot be accessed via the big platforms that is a significant barrier to entry.

When Facebook and Twitter regulate what can be said on their platforms and Google and Apple regulate who can provide a platform, we have a big problem. It’s as if the NYTimes and the Washington Post were the only major newspapers and the government regulated who could own a printing press.

In a pure libertarian world, I’d be inclined to say that Google and Apple can also police whom they allow on their platforms. But we live in a world in which Google and Apple are bound up with and in some ways beholden to the government. I worry when a lot of news travels through a handful of choke points.

I also fear that Google and Apple haven’t thought very far down the game tree. One of the arguments for leaving the meta-platforms alone is that they are facially neutral with respect to content. But if Google and Apple are explicitly exercising their power over speech on moral and political grounds then they open themselves up to regulation. If code is law then don’t be surprised when the legislators demand to write the code.

These problems are arising in many fields not just news. As Politico noted, OKCupid has banned users accused of being white supremacists and asked members to report “people involved in hate groups.” AirBnb took it even one step further and “jettisoned the accounts of users it suspected of renting rooms to attendees of the “Unite the Right” event.” So it wasn’t even white supremacists who were banned but people who rented to them. What is next? Will white supremacists be banned from lunch counters? Sure, that prospect might generate a frisson of excitement but is that the kind of society we want to live in? And are we so sure that the tables will never turn again?

Addendum: By the way, LBRY, the censorship-free “blockchain meets youtube” startup (I am an adviser), is up and running in beta. Check it out!

1 Tyler Cowen August 23, 2017 at 7:47 am

How about banning commentators who were named by their parents “Robert Lee”?

2 Rich Berger August 23, 2017 at 8:07 am

Well, yeah. Got that covered!

3 The Other Jim August 23, 2017 at 9:03 am

Surely this would not apply to Asian commenters with the last name “Lee,” right? Because that would be insane.

4 Real Life August 23, 2017 at 9:06 am

Actually, ESPN just removed a commentator from a college football game this weekend because his name is Robert Lee – even though Mr. Lee is of Asian descent.

5 Mondfledermaus August 23, 2017 at 10:52 am

That’s what he gets for anglicizing the spelling of his name. In the the modern transliteration system it would have been spelled “Li” or “Lí” or with some other symbol in the “i” to indicate the tone.

6 Dick the Butcher August 23, 2017 at 10:55 am

Yeah. However, allowing Mr. Lee to do play-by-play for a UVA, NCAA football game would be rational. The left is irrational.

7 The Other Other Jim August 23, 2017 at 1:59 pm

Actually, that story is false. Robert Lee removed himself.

“According to an ESPN executive, who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation, ESPN asked Lee if he would be more comfortable calling another game but gave him the option to stay. Lee chose to switch assignments, and ESPN accommodated him.”

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2017/08/22/espn-pulls-announcer-robert-lee-off-virginia-game-charlottesville-protests/592458001/

8 ESPN Rocks August 23, 2017 at 6:02 pm

ESPN “asked” Lee if he would “be more comfortable” calling another game

9 Otto Maddox August 27, 2017 at 9:07 am

However anyone wants to rationalize this away, there is still madness involved.

10 derek August 23, 2017 at 9:37 am

It is somewhat gratifying to watch a species and see behavior that you didn’t expect. I should have known that neo maoists would follow the pattern too a tee.

So what happened? End of August where the adults are on holidays and the stupid interns run amuck? This happened to Maclean’s magazine last summer with sorry consequences come fall when readers simply disappeared.

Or is this a case of fear; the same fear that prevents media from ‘ offending’ Muslims, fear of the rampaging hordes of antifa types that would raise a storm on Twitter?

11 Vance Koven August 23, 2017 at 11:08 am

Yep, and poets, too!

12 Sure August 23, 2017 at 7:48 am

We are no longer shunning people for having bad ideologies.

We are shunning people for not shunning those with bad ideologies strongly enough.

Our preferred equilibrium, given the preferences of the most passionate individuals, seems to be for creating a block of unemployable individuals locked out of commercial relations. This block is thought to be highly violent and well armed. They also believe that certain people are legitimately inferior to the them and are now causing them to be pariahs. I do not see how this new equilibrium does not result in an increase in hate crimes, murder, and general social costs.

But at least people online get to feel REALLY morally superior.

13 RPLong August 23, 2017 at 10:18 am

+1

14 Tarrou August 23, 2017 at 10:34 am

You forgot the part where in order to feel morally superior, you have to keep shoving people into that “Deplorable” bag, and it already contains a supermajority of the American population. Money and mouthpieces can only protect you so long when you grind the faces of the majority of your population so openly.

15 Hazel Meade August 23, 2017 at 10:48 am

Our preferred equilibrium, given the preferences of the most passionate individuals, seems to be for creating a block of unemployable individuals locked out of commercial relations.

You mean like black people under Jim Crow, and (to a much lesser extent) still today? One could make an argument that the treatment of people with felony convictions combined with aggressive prosecution of black people for drug crimes, is a backdoor mechanism that acts to keep blacks out of the job market. I.e. creating a block of unemployable individuals locked out of commercial relations.

I’m not necessarily saying that we have to do this to white supremacists, but if there’s a conflict between inviting white supremacists to full participation in all spheres of life and inviting non-white minorities to full participation in commercial life then we should opt in favor of the latter.

If allowing white supremacists to participate fully in the public sphere entails allowing them to systematically discriminate against non-whites, then we have a problem.

16 Art Deco August 23, 2017 at 11:03 am

You mean like black people under Jim Crow,

They weren’t ‘locked out’. They were impeded in various ways and had to turn to specialty vendors for some services. (See, the “Green Book”). With regard to others, they were welcome, but in designated spaces per caste regulations. You had restrictive covenants on real estate here there and the next place (from about 1910 to 1948). Where they were really ‘locked out’ was large swaths of public employment in the South (the Post Office the major exception) and also the Southern state universities. See Ann Wortham’s description of her father’s outlook: white people were ‘the guv’mint’, and you did not trust ‘the guv’mint’).

and (to a much lesser extent) still today?

No, not at all today. The problems blacks face have to do with deficits of public order, and that’s a government failure.

You’re never going to get this country. Go back to Canada and be a tedious harridan there.

17 Hazel Meade August 23, 2017 at 11:15 am

Ok, so white supremacists won’t be “locked out” either. They’ll just be impeded in various ways and have to turn to specialty vendors or services. No problem, right?

18 Urso August 23, 2017 at 11:26 am

So your argument is that Jim Crow was a good policy, just applied to the wrong group?

Also you’re failing to make what seems to me to be a critical distinction between speech and action here. Federal law forbids white supremacists from “systematically discriminat[ing] against non-whites” and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. It doesn’t prevent them from ranting away, or even from agitating that those laws should be changed.

19 Hazel Meade August 23, 2017 at 11:30 am

I’m arguing that we either have anti-discrimination laws, OR we have no anti-discrimination laws, and we have social norms which exclude racists from public life – so that they won’t be able to exclude minorities from public life. The latter is the more libertarian system.

In other words, if you think white supremacists should be socially tolerated, you are morally obligated to support anti-discrimination laws.

20 Hazel Meade August 23, 2017 at 11:33 am

And conversely, if you don’t support anti-discrimination laws, you’re obliged to support social norms that exclude racists.

21 Art Deco August 23, 2017 at 11:35 am

You offered a false description, which I corrected. Your reply makes no sense unless I’m advocating a re-introduction of Jim Crow laws, which I’m not. Almost no one is, and the people who would like that are nowhere near positions of influence in any venue.

I would tell you that private parties should have freedom of contract and association, which they currently do not.

I’ll also tell you that having near-monopoly corporations harassing private parties for reasons extraneous to the very partial and fleeting transactions these parties have with said corporations is bad for the development and maintenance of robust public discussion, an observation quite separate from considerations of what commercial law should say about this sort of corporate behavior.

22 Art Deco August 23, 2017 at 11:38 am

And conversely, if you don’t support anti-discrimination laws, you’re obliged to support social norms that exclude racists.

No, Hazel, I’m obliged to respect moral norms. I’m not obliged to be a dick to my nonagenarian uncle, who is a very accomplished and decent man.

23 Hazel Meade August 23, 2017 at 11:49 am

If my description was false then so was original commenter Sure’s.
I directly copied the language from that comment. If blacks weren’t locked out under Jim Crow, then white supremacists definitely won’t be locked out of society because people voluntarily choose not to associate with them.

24 Sam Haysom August 23, 2017 at 12:20 pm

Ah yes the sweet smell of repressive tolerance. Granted Hazel likely doesn’t know who Marcuse is- but like an good lower middle class striver she knows how to bleat on cue.

25 Sure August 23, 2017 at 5:35 pm

I am not so sure. Back then we did not have the internet and there was some level of scut work that was acceptable to caste system.

Back then even the most radical minority who stepped out of line could virtually always move a few states away and start a new life, often without even having to change views or move to a socially tolerant area. You cannot run from the internet. Doxxing is common place and the first hit on Google for every job application will be the twitter threads outing you.

Even the most virulent racists back then allowed for employment to be found in unpleasant, low wage jobs. Like food service. I have seen no job which the current internet mob believes is safe for racists to hold. No matter the pay, work conditions, or social status even menial labor is too much.

Likewise no matter the venue no commerce is safe either.

If current trends continue, which I hope they will not, it will end up being much worse than Jim Crow. The largest costs will be born by the victims of racist crimes, and it will not be people like you (or me) who pay it.

26 Careless August 23, 2017 at 9:55 pm

In other words, if you think white supremacists should be socially tolerated, you are morally obligated to support anti-discrimination laws.

Shorter Hazel: Logic: how the fuck does it work? I have no idea!

27 prior_test3 August 23, 2017 at 11:41 am

‘They weren’t ‘locked out’.’

Please, let us look at a bit of history – ‘In 1939, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) refused permission for Anderson to sing to an integrated audience in their Constitution Hall. At the time, Washington, D.C., was a segregated city and black patrons were upset that they had to sit at the back of Constitution Hall. Constitution Hall also did not have the segregated public bathrooms required by DC law at the time for such events. The District of Columbia Board of Education also declined a request to use the auditorium of a white public high school.’

Though of course, an open air concert on property not controlled by the DC government is just the same as an indoor concert, right? ‘At Eleanor Roosevelt’s behest, President Roosevelt and Walter White, then-executive secretary of the NAACP, and Anderson’s manager, impresario Sol Hurok, persuaded Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes to arrange an open-air concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial The concert was performed on Easter Sunday, April 9, and Anderson was accompanied, as usual, by Vehanen. They began the performance with a dignified and stirring rendition of “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee”. The event attracted a crowd of more than 75,000 of all colors and was a sensation with a national radio audience of millions.’ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marian_Anderson#1939_Lincoln_Memorial_concert

Or was the idea that a performer could perform to an unsegregated audience just too radical, making it completely understandable for anyone in a position to stop such a performance to act in a seemingly Art Deco approved fashion of not actually locking anyone out, as long as they played by the Jim Crow laws?

28 Sure August 23, 2017 at 12:27 pm

Jim Crow was a caste system that allowed for commercial interactions following a set of social norms. It was perfectly legal and encouraged to sell most goods to black people. Certain, less desirable, jobs were encouraged to be given to black individuals (e.g. domestic help).

You could commerce in most any manner, you just had to do so in a manner that did not cause problems for white people.

Nobody refused check clearance services or other platform level services to black individuals, nobody tried to get them fired from restaurant service jobs (these were encouraged by ardent racists).

So no, Jim Crow was a vastly wider net, but it was not wholly exclusive or so my parents and grandparents told me and they had a cross burned into their yard.

So is there any tension between allowing racists into the economy? Well for forty years or so we have allowed racists full access to things like payment processing, employment, and the like without move towards reimposition of Jim Crow. At worst the worst ills experienced by minorities are heavily confounded with employment and social habits. It certainly had no significant impact on my journey to medical practice.

So as always, I am left wondering if we want to make racists the new sex offenders – people who cannot get employment, who are shunned by normal individuals, and who go on to be massive drags on society as we subsidize their housing, healthcare, and basic needs. Right now the mob shows no signs of letting up at anything close to Jim Crow levels of exclusion, so exactly where should society draw the line on shunning? Certainly shunning Gab for not shunning racists seems like we are not going to stop anywhere sane.

29 Hazel Meade August 23, 2017 at 1:50 pm

Thanks for the reasonable reply.
I don’t think banning Gab amounts to Jim Crow levels of social exclusion (or worse). But I am open to persuasion that it’s possible to socially tolerate racists without allowing them to make society intolerant towards non-whites.
As long as the racists remain a small and generally reviled minority, their power is effectively neutered. The problem is that keeping them small and reviled involves exercising some degree of social exclusion. Right now, many people are reacting to the alt-right and the apparent increase in the social and political power of the far right. That is why they are enforcing anti-racist norms much more intensely, with all the “signalling” and so forth that entails.
If people want that to stop, they have to convince others that the alt-right really is a powerless fringe and that it’s impossible for them to harm non-whites or drive government policy in a racially biased manner. That’s not going to happen as long as Trump refrains from unequivocally denouncing them.

30 derek August 23, 2017 at 10:07 pm

How does giving someone 24 hour a day coverage for a week equal social exclusion?

This is a moral panic. An old old trick of newspapers was to have on the front page some minister bemoaning the evil influence of the strip club. It guaranteed a full house.

How many Nazis has this weeks moral panic created?

31 Timov August 23, 2017 at 11:02 pm

“As long as the racists remain a small and generally reviled minority…”

The number of racist individuals in this world is huge, and outnumbers the supposed non-racists by orders of magnitude. Anyone who believes otherwise is simply living in a fantasy world. Blacks, Whites, Asians, etc. etc. are racist by their very nature. The vast majority of those who say they aren’t are liars (or simply deluded), plain and simple. A life spent in many different cultures around the world has shown me that racism is the norm for the human condition. Thinking otherwise is abnormal.

We should just accept that and learn to work either with it, or around it, as the case may be.

32 kevin August 23, 2017 at 3:06 pm

I believe you mean convicted sex offenders, or really ex-cons in general. There’s a massive difference though. Racists can change, ex-con is a label that follows you around the rest of your life. You can’t change being an ex-con: no amount of shunning them will change that label. Its entirely possible shunning could change a racist to a non-racist (or at least the front he puts on to the outside world).

33 prior_test3 August 23, 2017 at 3:06 pm

‘It was perfectly legal and encouraged to sell most goods to black people.’

As long as they did not use the white bathroom in the store, however.

‘or so my parents and grandparents told me and they had a cross burned into their yard’

Out of curiosity – so your parents (one assumes as a couple) had a cross burned in their yard, and their parents in turn each had a cross burned in their yard? Or was it only two cross burnings, involving one of your parents and their respective parents? One could almost wonder if you had carefully thought out what you were trying to write, actually, including the ‘into’.

‘and the like without move towards reimposition of Jim Crow’

Does voter suppression ring a bell? Like in North Carolina, to give an example? And if not, why not for someone with a family history of crosses being burned in the yard. ‘A federal appeals court panel struck down North Carolina’s voter ID law on Friday, overturning what’s considered the broadest piece of restrictive voting legislation passed in recent years.

————————————————–

North Carolina’s bill extended beyond requiring a state-issued photo ID at the polls. The law cut early voting days and banned same-day voter registration, eliminated straight-ticket voting, which allows voters to choose all candidates from a single party by checking one box; and introduced more restrictions on casting provisional ballots. It prohibited pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds, who previously were allowed to indicate their intent to vote when applying for a driver’s license. The law also allowed for more poll watchers and made it easier to challenge voters or their ballots.

On Friday, a three judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va. found the law not only had a discriminatory effect, but that lawmakers did so on purpose.

—————————————————–

The court said that in crafting the law, the Republican-controlled general assembly requested and received data on voters’ use of various voting practices by race. It found that African American voters in North Carolina are more likely to vote early, use same-day voter registration and straight-ticket voting. They were also disproportionately less likely to have an ID, more likely to cast a provisional ballot and take advantage of pre-registration.

Then, the court, said, lawmakers restricted all of these voting options, and further narrowed the list of acceptable voter IDs. “… [W]ith race data in hand, the legislature amended the bill to exclude many of the alternative photo IDs used by African Americans. As amended, the bill retained only the kinds of IDs that white North Carolinians were more likely to possess.”

The state offered little justification for the law, the court said. Those who defended the law said they were doing so to prevent voter fraud. “Although the new provisions target African Americans with almost surgical precision, they constitute inapt remedies for the problems assertedly justifying them and, in fact, impose cures for problems that did not exist,” the court said.’ http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/court-north-carolina-voter-id-law-targeted-black-voters/

34 Sure August 23, 2017 at 5:03 pm

Seriously your most constructive comment is about the living arrangements of my grandparents?

My grandparents lived in the same multi-family complex. My parents met before grade school. From what I understand the cross was burnt into the lawn because some local civil rights activists met in one of the other units before my grandparents all moved to the burbs. It was my understanding that said burning was done by the expedient of pouring gasoline onto the grass and then lighting it off leaving behind a cross shape burned into the grass.

As far as “voter suppression” no that does not ring a bell. I, like the majority of minorities, support voter ID. We, in spite of the hysteria seem to understand that we can change our behaviors. Literally nothing stops us from registering to vote on our 18th birthday, voting a straight party line by READING the ballot, or going to the DMV like everyone else. Frankly it is pretty insulting to say that we are incompetent at ballot reading and thus are disenfranchised.

Jim Crow had the power of law (mostly) and violence (always) behind it. The sacrifices required to deal with any of these petty distractions are inordinately less and it is highly offensive to suggest that these compare to people lynched in the streets.

35 Thomas August 23, 2017 at 1:24 pm

“You mean like black people under Jim Crow, and (to a much lesser extent) still today?”

Likely source: study demonstrating that names that are both ethnically and socioeconomically identifying effect call-back rates, with no attempt to disambiguate the two because the narrative is all-important.

Is Cletus getting called back from Fortune 500 corporations?

36 kevin August 23, 2017 at 3:01 pm

Exactly! I can sympathize with Tyler’s point, but as long as employers can ban ex-criminals from working. I am not going to worry about “white supremacists banned from lunch counters”.

“Banned from lunch counters” was to a demographic. White supremacists are not even close to the same thing. You can wake up and decide you no longer want to be one.

37 Sure August 23, 2017 at 5:22 pm

Oh please, let’s assume the racists deserve to die. Great so they can choose to change. Have you seen the statistics on how many of them actually change? It is abysmal. Even in places like Germany where you get to do jail time.

So let’s not pretend this is the 1920s and we are contemplating prohibition. Let’s assume that people will still do things that self harm and are socially unacceptable.

Do you suspect that this campaign of shunning might enrage a few racist who might then murder a few people. I realize you are safe and will not have to deal with the inevitable assaults and killings, but for those of us who do, we might care a bit more about the social cost of punishing racists. Why should some lower socioeconomic minorities outside of the coastal metropli have to bear the cost of rich elitists stoking moral superiority online? Why should the community where I work have to dump money into cops and jails when you have taken more or less law abiding racists and jacked up all the risk factors for violent crime? I have enough GSWs come through my ER now, I really would rather not treat more if local skinheads up their criminality and spark another drug turf war just so you can feel good about fighting while making no sacrifice.

38 msgkings August 23, 2017 at 7:30 pm

They don’t have to change, they just need to shut up. Be racist privately.

39 chedolf August 23, 2017 at 8:13 pm

…they just need to shut up. Be racist privately.

Steve Sailer should be no-platformed and boycotted until he shuts up, or are you using a more stringent definition of “racist?”

40 Sure August 23, 2017 at 9:48 pm

Good grief, are you congenitally incapable of dealing with the world we live in. Of course they could just shut up and be private racists, they refuse to do so. And have historically refused to do so. And likely will continue to do so. We are not talking about rational actors here, we are talking about people who doing this in spite of knowing the consequences, in spite of knowing that they will be assaulted (as has been happening for at least two decades at their rallies).

Again, as always, assume the unwielding pond scum – what do you do with them? Dox them so they cannot hold jobs? Shame companies into shaming other companies who commerce with them? What is the end point?

Because wishing Nazis will change if only we make their life a little more uncomfortable is not a particularly good strategy. I treat the local jail population when things get bad, and having multiple bones broken multiple times with years added to sentences has not been enough to give vastly outnumbered white supremacists the sense to shut up. If it comes down to choosing to be polite (and hoping that all will magically be forgiven in the age of Google) or turning to crime do you really think these clowns will pick polite?

It is not going be you that they rob or assault, but it will be some one if they cannot find other employment.

41 msgkings August 23, 2017 at 10:39 pm

@chedolf: WAY more stringent. Sailer deals in ideas, peacefully, online. I’m talking about actual marching swastika-bearing Nazi-saluting Jew hate-chanting racists Knock it off or be shunned, your choice.

@Sure: jesus you are a pansy. And very condescending to these people. They are adults. Adults know there are consequences to their actions. Wanna march around being a Nazi? Expect a response. And now they know what it is. You want to coddle these assholes because you are afraid of them. Don’t be.

42 Sure August 24, 2017 at 8:14 am

Oh please, I have dealt with far more of these idiots than you ever will. The odds of any of these morons ever being a threat to me are pretty much nil.

At least once a year I get to treat one of them who has been beaten, shanked, or gotten sick enough for an ER visit. My concern is that they become parasites.

Take the most recent Nazi who saw me. He was fired from a job collecting garbage for saying something dumb. He then was fired from Walmart, again for saying something dumb. After some unemployment and some time “looking for work”, he turned to the drug trade. This got him a string of petty felonies and eventually he went away for aggravated assault on another drug dealer. That made him a ward of the state for six years. That costs about $30,000 per annum. So he will cost the taxpayers about $180,000 up front.

Except he is, after all, a jackass Nazi. This means he is dumb enough to insult a Central American gang in prison. This gets him a shiv into the abdomen, which means he comes to see me (about $10,000) and the trauma surgeon (about $40,000). The follow up care for a perforated colon will likely run another $20,000 on average. I do not particularly care if he ever has freedom again … but I do care that he is eating more tax money than it costs to say: run a homeless clinic for a month, give multiple full ride scholarships to needy kids, repave several decrepit roads, or any of a host of other things. And let’s hope the times when they end up in my hospital, they don’t suck down so many medical resources that someone else dies waiting for an OR.

Because this is what happens to racists who cannot work. They either suck up resources on welfare or they suck up resources in jail.

I am perfectly fine with somebody saying they do not want to associate with racists, my problem is the 3rd party shunning – if you have a racist on the payroll we will shun your company.

Unlike you, I live in the real world. Chanting crap is unpleasant but I would not even know about it except for the counter-protests and the media circus. Them chanting somewhere without television cameras is about as bad as a fart in the wind. If they can manage to work without pissing off their employers, what do I care if they decide to play dress up on the weekends? I certainly do not think the taxpayers should have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars because they like to LARP assholes.

43 Larry Greenfield August 23, 2017 at 8:06 am

The situation between Google and Apple isn’t exactly parallel. Android allows for alternate stores and sideloading: Google has decided not to distribute Gab via Google Play but has not prohibited installing the application on Android phones. Apple doesn’t allow for alternate distribution mechanisms, so being banned from the appstore is a much bigger deal.

44 nolen August 23, 2017 at 8:50 am

Agree that the situations are not the same, but even in Apple’s case, it’s not a real ban on content. You can still find and view that content on the web, or through an app whose whole purpose isn’t objectionable.

45 bmcburney August 23, 2017 at 10:25 am

Is Gab’s “whole purpose” objectionable? It sounds like the whole purpose is to allow free speech to occur.

46 nolen August 23, 2017 at 11:29 am

The free speech can occur just fine without the app. Gab is very deliberately a Twitter alternative for racists that likes to pretend it isn’t. Its logo is Pepe; come on. Corporations have no responsibility to put that on their stores.

47 derek August 23, 2017 at 1:04 pm

Since you are historically illiterate, I’ll enlighten you.

Your words are identical to what an elderly German woman said about how threatened she felt until the streets were cleaned up in her hometown.

You should be ashamed of yourself.

48 Thor August 23, 2017 at 10:03 pm

> It’s logo is Pepe

It’s logo is a stylized frog, and has been since before the Pepe meme got started. I think you will have to expand the definition of hate speech to include any depiction of amphibians.

49 msgkings August 23, 2017 at 10:43 pm

Fine by me, but don’t mess with Michigan J. Frog. That dude’s cool.

50 prior_test3 August 23, 2017 at 11:11 am

‘or through an app whose whole purpose isn’t objectionable’

Well, the VLC project has had problems with Apple over the years, as Apple seems to object to the entire point of the VLC project, which is to allow anyone to view as many media file formats as possible as flexibly as possible.

‘VLC for iOS, a popular media player application that has had a shaky history with the iOS App Store, now appears to be returning to the mobile app marketplace following its removal around the time iOS 8 launched in September 2014. The app’s developers never officially commented on the removal, beyond stating that they would be “working with Apple on a solution,” and later promised the app would arrive some time in early 2015.

The app’s popularity has to do with the way it enables iOS users to watch a wider variety of media files than is supported natively through the iOS software, including MKV files, AVI files, DivX and more. It also supports network streams, subtitles, and allows for library uploads over Wi-Fi or via cloud services like Dropbox and Google Drive.’ https://techcrunch.com/2015/02/16/vlcs-media-player-for-ios-sneaks-back-into-the-app-store/

51 Slocum August 23, 2017 at 10:26 am

The two situations are pretty close to the same. What percentage of Android users know that can flip the ‘accept apps from un-trusted sources’ switch and then download apps from other stores or web sites? Surely it’s in the low single digits.

52 prior_test3 August 23, 2017 at 11:11 am

Anyone who bothers to learn?

53 Hazel Meade August 23, 2017 at 10:50 am

And apple is a smaller share of the market.
Everyone already knows that if you buy an iPhone you’re living in a walled garden.

54 Careless August 23, 2017 at 10:42 pm

And no one expected google to be the same sort of walled garden until this happened

55 Dan Lavatan-Jeltz August 23, 2017 at 11:06 am

Yeah, I think we have to ditch Google Play. It doesn’t even work in China where a lot of the userbase is. Do we know if gab is available from tencent?

I’m surprised it got banned however, as Google doesn’t usually police apps. Have they tried resubmitting it under another package name?

56 prior_test3 August 23, 2017 at 11:06 am

Yep.

For example, Apple App Store terms are in conflict with the GPL, meaning that Apple effectively prevents any GPL software from being loaded on an iPhone. http://www.fsf.org/blogs/licensing/more-about-the-app-store-gpl-enforcement

57 Rich Berger August 23, 2017 at 8:06 am

Sure, let people talk, but when masked men and women smash windows, set cars on fire and hit opponents with clubs, arrest them, convict them and have them spend time with some people who know about evil.

58 wiki August 23, 2017 at 9:43 am

Don’t you know that those things are acceptable so long as you’re one of the cool kids and not labeled “racist?” Antifa can get away with almost anything.

59 Hazel Meade August 23, 2017 at 10:53 am

Spoken the week after a white supremacist ran down and killed an “antifa” protestor.

60 Anonymous August 23, 2017 at 11:03 am

But the victim was not antifa was she? And the perpetrator is in jail isn’t he?

61 Jim Clay August 23, 2017 at 11:04 am

How does that respond to his point at all? The killer is being prosecuted. To a first degree approximation, it does appear to me that Antifa gets away with almost anything it does.

62 Hazel Meade August 23, 2017 at 11:18 am

The point is that Antifa people aren’t KILLING white supremacists, so it’s a bit rich to complain about how the poor white supremacists are being victimized here.

63 Art Deco August 23, 2017 at 11:40 am

The point is that Antifa people aren’t KILLING white supremacists, so it’s a bit rich to complain about how the poor white supremacists are being victimized here.

The antifa are everywhere and in the business of preventing public meetings and discussion with the connivance of university administrators and local officials. James Whathisname is a wreck from Toledo who is in jail and will do time.

64 Hazel Meade August 23, 2017 at 11:53 am

And the time to complain about that is in the immediate aftermath of one of them (or someone vaguely aligned with them) being killed by a white supremacists. You remind me a lot of leftists in the wake of 9/11.

3000 people are dead, BUT WHAT ABOUT THE EVILS OF AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY!

65 Sam Haysom August 23, 2017 at 12:25 pm

Does Hazel even read her own comments- whataboutism constitutes a good sixty percent of her sputterings.

An antifa auxiliary hatchet man attempted to murder the entire republican leadership- something Hazel seemed almost gleeful about. Please abandon the false equivalence- you don’t get credit because your tribes eliminationist plots failed.

66 msgkings August 23, 2017 at 12:41 pm

Sam, whataboutism is pretty much all political discourse these days. It’s the only reason Trump is president.

67 Sam Haysom August 23, 2017 at 12:48 pm

I agree which is why I don’t criticize whataboutism or ad hominem or any of the rhetorical fallacies that basically make up our political discourse.

But hypocrisy definitely should be called out and Hazel is one of the most fumbingly hypocrital peope here.

68 DK August 23, 2017 at 1:07 pm

It’s beginning to feel like anyone who protests on the left is quickly labeled “antifa” and said to hate the 1st amendment while perpetuating unlimited violence that is ignored by the fake news MSM and law enforcement.

They’re everywhere…be on alert…they could even be your neighbor…

69 Thomas August 23, 2017 at 1:26 pm

“It’s beginning to feel like anyone who protests on the left is quickly labeled “antifa” and said to hate the 1st amendment while perpetuating unlimited violence that is ignored by the fake news MSM and law enforcement.”

They wear a uniform… do you want hundreds of videos? I’ll send the links if you want to learn something.

70 DK August 23, 2017 at 3:54 pm

Haha…ah yes, they’re uniform is described as “black clothes” and frequently a bandanna over the face (pepper spray is commonly used at protests). Fox described it last night in that exact way “and you’ll see the antifa…they’re the ones wearing black clothes.”

I also understand that they are the only people in this country that own any black clothes and bandannas making them very easy to identify. I know I bleached all of my black clothes when I heard about them so I would not be misidentified…hope you have too.

71 Bart August 23, 2017 at 6:08 pm

Have you ever seen a picture of antifa? They are readily identifiable, you’re not making yourself look good by pretending they are not. Also, they have a logo.

72 Careless August 23, 2017 at 10:46 pm

Congratulations, Hazel: you’ve graduated from being stupid to being evil.

73 Gary Leff August 23, 2017 at 8:12 am

If Airbnb is overreacting bear in mind they have faced accusations of racism (largely by some members of their platform refusing to rent to this or that group) and the risk of government reprisals for discrimination in temporary housing is real.

On the one hand ‘platforms should be independent because they’re beholden to the government’ on the other we’re seeing platforms already not independent because they fear the government. Last summer they hired Eric Holder to advise them on their anti-discrimination policies.

Banning a few high profile people, overreacting, is a relatively low cost (in the short term) way for the company to signal they take the government’s — and the public’s — concerns seriously.

74 Handle August 23, 2017 at 9:00 am

The deal is the government forces them to provide service for everyone absent normal “bad customer” causes, but agrees to hold intermediary market makers harmless for the actions of their users, analogous to CDA Section 230. Getting rid of the need for such signals is a benefit to social welfare, but few can advocate for it because of the current need signals.

75 Nate M. August 23, 2017 at 9:40 am

Agreed.

AirBnB is in the middle (tail end?) of trying to tackle and scrub out a slow-moving discrimination crisis. If AirBnB is ever considered to be a “haven for racists”, it’ll quickly put a very low ceiling on growth. That fear explains the ad campaigns, it explains Eric Holder, etc etc.

I write this to explain why AirBnB made a stupid, stupid move, by the looks of it.
> “jettisoned the accounts of users it suspected of renting rooms to attendees of the “Unite the Right” event.”
AirBnB has been pushing this automated approval system, whereby hosts are encouraged to turn on an auto-approval system, as opposed to a manual system of “here’s an email from the person who wants to rent the place on date X through date Y, do you approve?”

If they’re punishing (de-listing) hosts for the extracurricular activities of renters *which were approved by AirBnB’s automated system*, then hosts will have a predictable response: demanding more thorough background checks on renters. (and round and round and round we go)

76 wiki August 23, 2017 at 9:46 am

But Antifa’s longer history of property damage, violence, and threats — often without arrests as in Berkeley — is less of a public concern than a few nutcase neo Nazis?? Or Confederate statues?

Keep deluding yourself in not realizing how we are recreating the Reds vs. Browns of the 1930s.

77 Al August 23, 2017 at 10:15 am

The point is, that the companies are not only doing it due to virtue signaling, but due to a real fear of the government enforcing the horrible laws on the books.

78 Hazel Meade August 23, 2017 at 11:06 am

Maybe they’re doing it because black people are a significant share of their market and they want them to keep using the service.

79 Al August 23, 2017 at 11:24 am

I’m certain that’s the reason, if Google and Apple didn’t take this action then, clearly, that demographic would have flocked to the competing services.

80 Alistair August 24, 2017 at 9:00 am

From a corporate perspective, I simply find that wildly implausible compared to Al’s reasoning. It also begs the question of “why wait until now to act?”.

We don’t know what Googles motives are. Chasing a black market? Fear of Government legal persecution? Or genuine revulsion of the racists? But it can be more than one reason.

81 Hazel Meade August 23, 2017 at 10:57 am

Well, the elephant in the room is that racial discrimination is pretty easy on Airbnb since they require photo identification of all users along with a valid credit card. If someone doesn’t want to rent to minorities they don’t have to respond to the request, just deny it. I’m not against this. People should be able to rent to who they want. Other people should also be free to shame them for doing so.

82 Christian Hansen August 24, 2017 at 1:06 am

The people of California voted for this overwhelmingly in 1964. Google Proposition 14. It was overturned by the Supreme Court of California and affirmed by SCOTUS for obvious reasons.

83 DBN August 23, 2017 at 8:13 am

Wasn’t it just last month that Net Neutrality was a cause of the left?

84 Ricardo August 23, 2017 at 9:21 am

Net neutrality applies to ISPs. What appears to be happening is that Google and Apple have banned the Gab mobile app from Google Play and the iTunes app store respectively. Apple has never claimed to be a neutral distributor of software for its devices and exercises a great deal of control over what apps it distributes to its customers — their decision seems to be a fairly typical exercise of discretion. I am sure it is in the terms of service that Apple reserves the right to control what pieces of software get installed on your device.

Google Play is a bit more freewheeling so banning an app like this may be a bit more of an abuse of their position. However, as noted above, anyone with a 14-year-old’s level of technical knowledge can manually download and install the app on an Android device. Also, I just typed “gab social network” into Google and their website is the second hit I got so Google is not banning them from their search engine results. Even people with iPhones could probably simply access the website in their phone’s browser and not bother with the app.

Neither Google nor Apple seem to be interfering with internet traffic, which is the concern behind net neutrality.

85 Thomas August 23, 2017 at 10:13 am

“Net neutrality applies to ISPs.”

This is a lie. Net neutrality was about a principle of equal access to information. Yes, ISPs can restrict that, but there is an argument to be made by honest people that Apple and Google can do the same, in which case honest and consistent net neutrality supporters would oppose Apple and Google’s actions.

86 Ricardo August 23, 2017 at 11:39 am

As I pointed out, one could criticize Google for being heavy-handed but the only thing it is doing is not hosting the app on Google Play. One can use Google to navigate to Gab’s website, download the app and install it manually fairly easily.

Net neutrality is about equal access to bandwidth and recognizes the unique monopoly power possessed by ISPs. Again, google “gab social network” and see for yourself if “information” is being blocked.

87 Thomas August 23, 2017 at 1:31 pm

Your argument is disingenuous, as always. Net neutrality isn’t just about ISPs and it isn’t just about full on censorship. It is about near-monopolies prioritizing certain traffic over other traffic. Google is absolutely doing that when it relegates speech it doesn’t like to secondary paths that require more work from users to utilize.

88 Hazel Meade August 23, 2017 at 2:12 pm

OMG. The horror of doing more work to download an app. That’s just like being forced to get off the bus in the middle of nowhere in the deep south.

89 bipartisan August 24, 2017 at 2:44 am

Bandwidth is not a principle but a technical detail. ‘Equal access to information’ is much more of a principle. The Left just seems to make up their excuses.

90 Ohioan August 23, 2017 at 1:25 pm

Because of not having an *app*?

C’mon, you can do better.

91 Thomas August 23, 2017 at 1:33 pm

“Because of not having *streaming video*?

C’mon, you can do better.”

92 DBN August 23, 2017 at 1:04 pm

When you are considering services like Cloudflare, which is a content delivery network and DNS service provider, this rapidly becomes a distinction without a difference. ISPs are a progressively smaller and smaller element within the internet ecosystem, and may ultimately end up being swallowed by content providers and content delivery networks. It’s ridiculous to think that any concerns over net neutrality are or should be restricted to ISPs alone.

93 Axa August 23, 2017 at 8:20 am

There’s a huge divide between ban and not distributing.

The first thing you see when you access https://gab.ai/ is “download Android app”. Android being the mobile OS developed by Google. A ban would mean that the installation file (*.apk) would be rejected by the OS. However, this is NOT happening. What happens is that the app is not available in Google distribution system (play store).

For context, other apps not included in Google play store: ad block, ad away, porn-apps, etc.

I’m not an Apple user but I think apps from unidentified sources can be installed too. So, where’s the ban?

94 DBN August 23, 2017 at 8:38 am

Without “jailbreaking” an iPhone, apps must be obtained through the App Store. So yes, this is an effective ban.

95 Ohioan August 23, 2017 at 1:26 pm

Gab exists on the web. This is not a ban.

A ban would be irreversible blacklisting within the OS.

96 Thomas August 23, 2017 at 1:36 pm

Net Neutrality progressives are massive hypocrites. Apparently buffering on your favorite Netflix exclusive is a violation of your rights and abhorrent, but requiring users to acquire certain political viewpoints through secondary, inferior methods is a-okay. Bud, you are only lying to yourself, no one else believes you.

97 Ohioan August 24, 2017 at 1:33 pm

Inferior? According to whom? According to people who prefer apps, perhaps? Others think that apps fragment and balkanize the web and are at best silly and at worst the end of the free general purpose internet.

Vis a vis Netflix, there is not an alternative unbuffered access point under the scenario you posit.

98 prior_test3 August 23, 2017 at 1:37 pm

Thankfully, GPL’d Linux makes that impossible.

99 Axa August 23, 2017 at 8:46 am

The process it’s so common that it has a name: sideloading.

Try searching for “sideloading apps iphone”. Jailbreak not required.

100 tjamesjones August 23, 2017 at 9:56 am

guys, sure we burnt books but we didn’t burn ALL books.

101 Al August 23, 2017 at 10:20 am

Sounds great. Any restrictions on side loading on the iPhone? Any at all that you can think of?

102 Axa August 23, 2017 at 10:49 am

Having the source code and the knowledge to compile it?

Also, accessing Gap from a damned web browser which is installed by default in 100% of smartphones 😉 For example, these are Gap’s founder posts https://gab.ai/a

103 Al August 23, 2017 at 11:33 am

Just wanted to clear up the record fir you, pal. Side loading on iOS has numerous restrictions greatly limiting its appeal. Thanks for agreeing!

104 Urstoff August 23, 2017 at 11:38 am

The main, fully-functional Amazon app is also not available in the app store (although other neutered amazon apps are), I assume because it contains its own appstore.

105 Careless August 23, 2017 at 11:03 pm

It avoids Apple’s 30% cut on purchases.

106 AR August 24, 2017 at 12:33 am

Are Google Play Store apps scanned for malware, or generally more likely to get flagged as having malware? I run unknown source .apks through VirusTotal before installing.

107 Butler T. Reynolds August 23, 2017 at 8:29 am

I’m not too happy with the change to Google News. When you visit Google News they require you to see the Top Stories section first, which contains what they (or their algorithms) think is most important for you to read, which appears to be mostly anti-Trump opinion pieces. There’s no customizing that section away. Trump makes me sick, but it doesn’t make me less sick to see Washington Post headlines about him.

In the old Google News, I’d place that section at the bottom because the headlines of the day are mostly distracting noise. But Google knows what’s better for me, I guess. I’m actively seeking a better news aggregator.

108 Bill August 23, 2017 at 8:31 am

Denying access to one communication platform just concentrates, say, racists on one node of another communications platform, with the perverse effect of a diffuse population now concentrating on one platform or site. If all racists use one website to communicate with each other, then the moderate racist becomes a super racist.

Diffusion protects.

109 derek August 23, 2017 at 9:25 am

Indeed. Another benefit is simply knowing what is going on. How many times in the past few years have we seen Ceausescu level bewilderment in those who have power and should know what is going on?

110 The Other Jim August 23, 2017 at 8:52 am

>Will white supremacists be banned from lunch counters?

Of course. And Howard Dean recently flat-out declared that voting Republican makes you a white supremacist.

I hope you’re on your knees every day, thanking God that these lunatics lost the election.

111 Andrew M August 23, 2017 at 9:13 am

> Will white supremacists be banned from lunch counters?

Merely being white and wearing a MAGA hat is enough to get you banned from certain lunch counters:
http://www.unz.com/isteve/howard-u-coeds-enraged-at-blonde-beckys-wearing-maga-hats-on-their-turf/

112 prior_test3 August 23, 2017 at 11:50 am

Hard as it might be for some to imagine, stores and restaurants have every right to refuse you service based on attire, for example by saying they have a no hats indoors policy.

‘WHEN YOU ARE PERMITTED TO REFUSE SERVICE

Scenarios in which refusals of service are warranted by law typically include situations where a customer’s presence would put the safety and welfare of the customer herself and/or others at risk. While state-specific health and duty of care laws vary, a place of public accommodation may typically refuse to serve a customer if:

The patron lacks adequate personal hygiene (extreme body odor, excess dirt, etc.)

The patron is visibly intoxicated

The patron is unreasonably rowdy or causing trouble

The patron’s presence would overfill venue capacity

There is good reason to believe the patron will not be a paying customer

The patron has chosen not to abide by a venue’s neutral dress requirements, in a manner that is somehow within the patron’s control

That last point is important. It’s why although “no shirt, no shoes, no service” policies are rarely mandated by law, they are also rarely illegal, because they don’t discriminate against any particular category of person.’ http://www.shakelaw.com/blog/refusal-of-service/

113 Andrew M August 23, 2017 at 12:15 pm

That’s all very well, but nothing to do with the example I provided. Howard doesn’t have a dress code banning red hats; nor did the girls fall foul of any of the other points you raise.

114 prior_test3 August 23, 2017 at 1:35 pm

If you say so, but since Steve Sailer tends to fabulism at times, why bother to see if this case is another example of that trait? (based on the assumption that isteve and unz means something written by Steve Sailer).

But if the wait staff at a restaurant was a bunch of meanies to someone, you have every right to call for a boycott of the business and to demand the employees involved be fired.

Be my guest to organize that, by the way. And that is sincerely meant – it is completely your 1st Amendment right to do so, after all.

115 Careless August 23, 2017 at 11:05 pm

Boy, PA, if only there had been a WaPo link to it.

116 Alistair August 24, 2017 at 8:25 am

Useful points, but bring to mind the obvious thought experiment: can I have a restaurant which requires, as a dress code, t-shirts saying “I hate all xxxx people?”

Of course, xxxx people are welcome to visit, providing they wear the T-shirt. And don’t worry if you don’t have a tee like that in your wardrobe; I have a spare set near the door and will happily lend you one. Wearing or not wearing the tee is entirely under a customers control, so no discrimination against a legally protected characteristic.

This set-up seems perfectly legal, right?

117 B.B. August 23, 2017 at 9:06 am

I suggest that white supremicists not be allowed to drink from the drinking fountains everyone else uses. Also, they must be sent to their own low-funded public schools. And not allowed in good neighborhoods.

Here is a really big issue for economics, Tyler, and I ask you and your colleagues to address it. When I was at UCLA Economics, there was a deep hostility toward anti-trust regulations and the entire concept of public utilities. Monopoly concerns were dismissed. I have turned critical toward the UCLA approach.

Should the big tech firms be viewed as natural monopolies? Do they need to be turned into regulated public utilities? With their size, wealth, and monopoly position, are they the new “Trusts” that progressives had to bust up a century ago?

We are supposed to allow free speech and assembly in public places under our Bill of Rights. (Apparently, Charlottesville is excluded from the Bill of Rights.) Are social media and websites the new public parks and streets of the 21st century? Facebook is not like the New York Times, it is like Central Park.

And how is it that Google had more meetings at the White House than any other corporation? Just what were Obama and the Google boys talking about?

Trotsky said that in a Communist regime, the penalty for opposition to the state was starvation. He thought that was a good thing. If Big Tech aligns itself with a single political party and ideological perspective, Big Tech can do the bidding of the state and starve you. They can make it impossible for you to speak, communicate, and even be employed; they can organize virtual lynch mobs. The Title Nine inquisition in colleges is about to go national.

As it was once said, they came for the trade unionists, but because I was not a trade unionist, I did not stand up for them. They came for the white supremicists, but because I was not a white supremicist, I did not stand up for them. And when they came for me, there was no one left to stand up for me.

118 Gary Lowe August 23, 2017 at 12:03 pm

I’ll take the bait. Troll!

119 Judah Benjamin Hur August 23, 2017 at 9:09 am

I am worried about slippery slopes and whetting the appetites of liberal fascists (are there any other kind left?).

But I don’t believe Nazis should have first amendment rights. They’re exploiting a loophole in democracy. If two people conspire to murder you, Alex, they will go to jail. If 1000 gather for the purpose of murdering you and all of your relatives when the opportunity arrives, that’s fine and dandy. I can live with Google, AirBnb and even OkCupid coming to the rescue even if I know they’ll try to misuse their power on innocent victims. That’s the time to punch back (paging James Damore).

120 derek August 23, 2017 at 9:20 am

So how has that worked out? Europe has had policies like that in place for a couple generations now. Jews are leaving Europe not because some jackass mouths off but because it is too dangerous to send your kids to school or to wear some identifying clothing.

And because of restrictions on speech it is impossible to even talk about what is happening guaranteeing that it gets worse.

Get used to it. There are ugly people. The best protection is to encourage everyone to say what they believe. Then the ugly ones are obvious.

121 Joël August 23, 2017 at 11:27 am

derek is correct. This is why I left Europe for the USA 12 years ago. But now the situation is rapidly becoming worse in the USA, while there seems to be a kind of wake up in Europe (or in France at least).

At least in France, Jews (and many others) now have in general the courage or common sense to say they are not afraid by the miserable remnants of the pro-Nazi groups, and that what make the uncomfortable/afraid/terrified (depending of the personality) are the verbal and physical aggressions (including torture and murders) coming from parts of the muslim population. In the US, saying so under my real name in my university would probably result in the immediate loss of my (tenured) job.

122 prior_test3 August 23, 2017 at 11:52 am

‘But now the situation is rapidly becoming worse in the USA’

Another MR commenter with apparently zero faith that the 1st Amendment will ensure that the marketplace of ideas works, without any government involvement necessary.

123 Joël August 23, 2017 at 12:55 pm

No, not zero faith. But not big either. And I am not asking for government intervention, on the contrary.

Since I work in a private university, my job is not protected by the first amendment in any way, only by the contractual dispositions of a tenure appointment, which mean next to nothing. I am well known in my field, and if I was fired from where I work for political reasons, it would become common knowledge and subject of gossips from everyone susceptible of hiring me, am I can imagine very few universities in the country (even those that have made me offers in the past) who would offer me a new job.

More importantly, the first amendment doesn’t work magically, simply because it is stated in the (amended) constitution. Milton Friedman explains very convincingly in “Capitalism and Freedom” why the free market allows for free speech. You should perhaps re-read this passage and ask yourself whether the conditions he describes (in 1962) apply to today’s situation, with a few quasi-monopolistic powers that can (and do) effectively ban you from using the standard way of communication of the time, have you lose your job, prevent you from renting an apartment.

124 prior_test3 August 23, 2017 at 1:28 pm

‘Since I work in a private university, my job is not protected by the first amendment in any way’

Well, it seems like your acquaintance with the sort of economic freedom so highly prized by people like Prof. Tabarrok might be taking just a bit of the shine off that America is the land of the free perspective.

‘More importantly, the first amendment doesn’t work magically, simply because it is stated in the (amended) constitution.’

The 1st Amendment works because Americans make it work, keeping government completely out of the marketplace of ideas. Losers in the marketplace of ideas don’t like that reality, of course.

‘effectively ban you from using the standard way of communication’

The Gab app can be downloaded right on Gab’s home page – how many times does this need to be pointed out? https://gab.ai/ And that Apple is a walled garden built with the enthusiastic participation of its customers over literally decades is not exactly a secret.

125 anon August 23, 2017 at 2:04 pm

Prior,

So in the ’50s racial equality had failed the marketplace test? And now racial equality once again fails the marketplace test? Therefore we should never attempt to change the ideas holding sway within elite academia and journalists, even if out of touch with most Americans?

126 Joël August 23, 2017 at 2:16 pm

But where did I say that the government should intervene? I use my first amendment right to criticize (anonymously) Apple and Google, and my university, not to call them to be banned or punished or restricted by the government. And I try to convince people to use communication methods that are independent of those two companies. I find nothing hypocrite in Tabarrok’s post, and I praise him for advertising for “LBRY, the censorship-free “blockchain meets youtube” startup”. This is just “the 1st Amendment works because Americans make it work” at work.

127 prior_test3 August 23, 2017 at 2:25 pm

‘So in the ’50s racial equality had failed the marketplace test? ‘

Jim Crows enforcing racial segregation did not represent the ‘marketplace.’

‘And now racial equality once again fails the marketplace test?’

There are no Jim Crow laws preventing racial equality anymore, so it would appear that racial equality has won out in the marketplace of ideas, and not failed.

‘Therefore we should never attempt to change the ideas holding sway within elite academia and journalists, even if out of touch with most Americans?’

Of course not. Make full use of your 1st Amendment rights to call for a boycott of whatever elite institutions and journalists you wish, for example.

128 anon August 23, 2017 at 6:13 pm

“Jim Crows enforcing racial segregation did not represent the ‘marketplace.’”

Why not? They were put in place by duly elected representatives were they not? Is your claim that they did not ennjoy majority support? What if they did, would your opinion change? What about in 1900 or 1800? Had racial equality failed the marketplace of ideas and therefore racial equality had no merit?

“There are no Jim Crow laws preventing racial equality anymore, so it would appear that racial equality has won out in the marketplace of ideas, and not failed.”

Now you contradict yourself. How can the existence of Jim Crow laws have nothing to do with the marketplace of ideas, but the lack of Jim Crow laws have lots to do with the marketplace of ideas? By the way, we still have affirmative action. The very idea of racial equality or race-blindness is now anathema to a large portion of the left.

“Of course not. Make full use of your 1st Amendment rights to call for a boycott of whatever elite institutions and journalists you wish, for example.”

Okay, then I will exercise my right to comment on this blog, although I am sure you will tell me it is useless because whatever ideas you like have “already won” in the “marketplace of ideas” even though they do not enjoy majority support.

129 Judah Benjamin Hur August 23, 2017 at 12:14 pm

I would hope it’s possible to confront Nazis without importing jihadis.

130 Joël August 23, 2017 at 1:01 pm

That may seem a reasonable hope, but in the current situation, those who appear to be the leaders in the “confronting the Nazi” movement are the same as those who want to import Jihadi’s and who deny that there might be a problem with radical Islamism (“the Orlando massacre was the act of an homophobic white male”, etc.). Sometimes, for efficiency, you have to prioritize among your political aims. Fighting the pitiful neo-nazi groups is not my priority.

131 prior_test3 August 23, 2017 at 1:30 pm

Wait, Orrin Hatch, who wrote this – “We should call evil by its name. My brother didn’t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home. -OGH,” – wants to import Jihadi’s and denies that there might be a problem with radical Islamism? Has anyone told him that?

132 anon August 23, 2017 at 2:05 pm

And does a Twitter comment make you a leader in the “confronting the Nazi” movement

133 prior_test3 August 23, 2017 at 2:19 pm

‘does a Twitter comment make you a leader in the “confronting the Nazi” movement’

Good question. Would the fact that he is the longest serving Republican Senator, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, serves on the Board of Directors for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and is known as a devout Mormon help answer it? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orrin_Hatch

Though honestly, as hundreds of millions of Americans are members of the anti-Nazi movement, leaders don’t seem all that necessary. He is just a bit more well known, though apparently not to everyone, as another one of his accomplishments is this – ‘Hatch is a founder and co-chair of the Federalist Society, a conservative organization of lawyers.’

134 prior_test3 August 23, 2017 at 6:15 pm

In other words, no

135 Alistair August 24, 2017 at 2:06 pm

Agreed. It’s like if the Casablanca conference of 1943 had identified Italy as the most dangerous Axis power. Or maybe Finland.

We may agree the neo-nazis are bad people but the scale of commentary and effort devote to their persecution is insane, wasteful, and possibly counter-productive in the face of other, larger threats.

136 derek August 23, 2017 at 1:06 pm

Again, how has it actually gone?

137 Slocum August 23, 2017 at 10:41 am

In terms of body count, communists have quite a large lead over the fascists. I’m not at all reassured that the motivations behind the communist genocides were more ideological than racial. So if we’re denying free speech rights to fascists (based on the idea that they might someday take power and start mass killings), why should we not also deny free speech rights to communists? After all, far far more countries had communist dictatorships and for far longer periods, so the risk seems much greater from that direction.

138 Robert Lindwall August 23, 2017 at 9:10 am

Ask your fellow blogger, Tyler seems all cool with suppressing speech

139 Benny Lava August 23, 2017 at 9:10 am

Conservatards love big unregulated business until they raise a hand in the culture wars. Then they all become born again regulators. Dance, monkeys, dance!

140 Art Deco August 23, 2017 at 11:16 am

Conservatards love big unregulated business until they raise a hand in the culture wars. Then they all become born again regulators.

You’re stupid, and read nothing. The starboard favors voluntary transactions in the market. Businesses are preferred to public agencies, not ‘loved’. George Gilder is the best example of someone love-struck with business, but he’s been fairly critical both of patrician culture and corporate bureaucracy. And if you’d bothered ever examining the topical commentary produced by starboard journalists (take Jonah Goldberg as an example, or any social conservative), you’d notice they’re irked, bored and impatient with the corporate elite when they have anything at all to say on the subject. Affection is directed at small merchants and manufacturers, not at Viacom or JP Morgan.

141 Benny Lava August 23, 2017 at 12:27 pm

Want some cheese with your whine?

142 msgkings August 23, 2017 at 12:30 pm

Hey Benny, when Art calls you names you know you’ve got him beat.

143 TMC August 23, 2017 at 12:22 pm

Highlighting the left’s hypocrisy is the purpose of this, not that there aren’t enough examples already.

144 Benny Lava August 23, 2017 at 2:00 pm

But doesn’t it serve the opposite?

145 Bob August 23, 2017 at 9:37 am

Isn’t a typical criticism of libertarianism that you will end up with a couple of oligarchs controlling key resources? You don’t have to go deep into cyberpunk to see people imagining realities where high barriers of entry make companies be scarier than governments.

When one sees the size of one those companies’ data hoards, and what it can be leveraged to do, it becomes clear that, if anything, classic science fiction underestimated the power they will have once they take the gloves off.

146 Hazel Meade August 23, 2017 at 11:02 am

What is bemusing to me is that this sudden terror that a free market will result in one or two companies controlling key resources is being raised because people are afraid that white supremacists will be socially excluded. Oh nos…. not the white supremacists! Excuse me while I revise my entire worldview and theory of economics!

147 Art Deco August 23, 2017 at 11:26 am

You’re being an obtuse fool, Hazel. Google and PayPal are not monopolistic common carriers, but they have an immense position. They’re harassing people for reasons which have nothing to do with the business of providing services for fees.

The excuse today is that everyone should punch down and refuse to transact business with ‘white supremacists’, no matter how inconsequential such people are and without regard to whatever skills or income white supremacists may have. Well, who is next? We already have our answer, and that’s Latin Mass traditionalists, who were also kicked off PayPal the other day, after a series of e-mail exchanges with some wench who works for ProPublica. Michael Matt’s little newspaper never had a paper circulation over 10,000 and is at its most dubious publishing Robert Sungenis on astrophysics. Some of us can see where this is going even if you can’t.

Google and PayPal are begging to be treated like old Bell Telephone exchanges.

148 R August 23, 2017 at 12:05 pm

Two things to note:

1. It won’t just be “White supremacists.” Gab is not White supremacist, it merely tries to establish a space where people cn practice the first amendment. We know that a third of the country is “white supremacist” by your logic.

2. Why is that surprising? When the government acts like a jerk, people will be more likely to support limiting the power of government. When capitalists act like jerks, people will be more likely to support limiting the power of capitalists. If you see the first behavior as rational and the second as a “hypocrisy” or a “contradiction,” check your priors. The right, especially the young, are increasingly seeing corporate America as an enemy. Can’t do much now, but one day when Bernie Sanders or someone like him wins the Democratic nomination for president, don’t be surprised if a lot of us stay home, enjoy a beer, and hope he burns the place down.

149 Alistair August 24, 2017 at 8:36 am

I’m a good libertarian, but I’m not blind to the theoretical problems from oligopoly power distributions and barriers to entry. Google and Apple are amassing a great deal of power and could conceivably select adverse social equilibria. Similarly it is possible for everyone to freely manoeuvre to an adverse social equilibria.

Just because actions are moral from a libertarian perspective doesn’t mean they are the smartest picks from the set of permissable actions, or lead to the best social outcomes.

150 Hazel Meade August 24, 2017 at 10:13 am

Well, what’s better? A) An equilibrium in which non-whites are included in the public sphere and racists are not. Or B) An equilibrium in which racists are socially included and tolerated at the cost of non-whites being subjected to systematic intolerance and discrimination by them?
Nobody has convinced me that there’s a way to have a society which is simultaneously welcoming of overt racism and racial diversity. If you’ve got a compelling argument that there is, please make it.

151 Alistair August 24, 2017 at 2:22 pm

Both “A” and “B” appear moral from a libertarian perspective, so long as “B” doesn’t have actual violence and its all private discrimination.

I’d tend to prefer “A”, but without more data honestly can’t argue “B” isn’t superior in net or pareto gains. So YMMV.

I’m very worried about dynamic effects and stability of “A”. Ostracising the racists gives them little opportunity or incentive to change, which I think “B” does. “A” also begs a slippery slope of what to do about non-white racism or indeed any other abhorred minority position. Do such groups get severely shunned in turn until what is left of the public sphere consists of very polite and very banal small talk between people who are _barely pure enough_?

In short, I’d prefer to treat the racists as kindly as civilly possible; in the hopes that many will repent of their error and because I greatly fear balkanisation in public discourse. I’d beg the indulgence of ethnic minorities whilst doing this and suggest that mutual engagement is in all of our long term best interest.

152 Thanatos Savehn August 23, 2017 at 9:38 am

You should have googled “porn” and “Twitter” before asserting that Twitter polices its site for porn. It might have given you a more interesting topic. Perhaps “The Internet Police: Keystone Cops or just not very scary scarecrows (and intentionally so)?”

153 BC August 23, 2017 at 9:40 am

“But if Google and Apple are explicitly exercising their power over speech on moral and political grounds then they open themselves up to regulation.”

They also open themselves up to criticism for anything and everything that is not censored. If one rejects content for being objectionable, then one simultaneously endorses content that is not rejected. Google and Apple will have to defend each decision to not reject, which is probably not a position that they want to be in.

“What is next?”

No need to speculate about a hypothetical, future slippery slope. We need only look back in history to the McCarthy Era, because that’s what this is. After blacklisting white nationalists and the people that rent to or otherwise refuse to blacklist them, next is to blacklist those that refuse to blacklist those who refuse to blacklist white nationalists. Then, we can blacklist those that refuse to blacklist those people as well….

154 Mr. Rolando August 23, 2017 at 11:15 am

“They also open themselves up to criticism for anything and everything that is not censored. If one rejects content for being objectionable, then one simultaneously endorses content that is not rejected. Google and Apple will have to defend each decision to not reject, which is probably not a position that they want to be in.”

I’m sure Craigslist and Backpage can testify to this sentiment.

155 Nate M. August 23, 2017 at 9:56 am

OKCupid is struggling to remain relevant, in my opinion they’re just jumping on a news story. https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=2016-01-01%202017-08-23&geo=US&q=okcupid

156 Bill August 23, 2017 at 10:59 am

I think OKCupid is different than, say, Google, in that it IS a screening site. The brand should engender trust, and, in fact, if it didn’t screen, it would be a hangout for rapists, pedophiles, etc. So, I’m not troubled by OKCupid’s decisions anymore than I would be troubled by a Christian dating site banishing devil worshippers.

157 Dan Lavatan-Jeltz August 23, 2017 at 11:11 am

It seems like OKCupid has intentionally be made worthless as a platform since the acquisition. But I would think the backlash would apply to other InterActive corp properties, with all conservatives and libertarians ditching Match until IAC fires the OKC CEO and the rest of the staff. I assume no conservative or libertarian would ever use tinder.

At the end of the day each political faction will need its own complete end to end supply chain and technology stack, so we end up with a few virtual countries partitioned within the same physical space.

158 Art Deco August 23, 2017 at 11:18 am

Good. Find your girl in meatworld.

159 Ryan Reynolds August 23, 2017 at 10:48 pm

I think there’s scope for a very entertaining reality TV show here: “White supremacist wants a wife”… where we get to watch a bunch of angry people struggle to find love (and cope with the consequences of their, ahem, ‘high’ standards).

We could to a range of them. Islamist wants a wife (or two). Every anguished group wants a wife. In the same series of shows you could illustrate the similarities between these ethnic groups objectives, all claiming a superior position simultaneously. You could humanise and mock the subject, all at once, while also hopefully witness some deal with the consequences of their beliefs by hopefully changing their minds.

160 Alistair August 24, 2017 at 8:39 am

Depressingly, watch as a good number of them succeed in their stated initial objectives by finding terrorised / submissive / agreeable women.

161 Sandia August 23, 2017 at 10:00 am

It’s the summer social high season. Conservative journalists and pundits are signalling wildly that they don’t want to be excluded from the fun in DC, the Hamptons and Martha’s Vineyard. Having principles is one thing, but having your wife or husband tell you you’ve been snubbed is quite another.

162 msgkings August 23, 2017 at 12:34 pm

“excluded from the fun in DC, the Hamptons and Martha’s Vineyard”

If the left is so awful why do they even want to hang out in those places?

163 Nate M. August 23, 2017 at 10:04 am

Google kicks a previously-allowed app for {insufficient moderation of hate speech} a week after Gab offers a job to James Damore, the former Google employee, who was fired for, well, {insufficient moderation of hate speech}.

Why is sufficient moderation of hate speech such a cause for Google?

164 Axa August 23, 2017 at 10:29 am

Some useful context.

Walmart does not sells NC-17 movies. Most of cinemas don’t book NC-17 movies. So, does a company that refuses to distribute content is against free speech?

165 prior_test3 August 23, 2017 at 11:30 am

Some people hate the free market, whether in goods or ideas. Nazis, hard as this might be for some to grasp, are opposed to the idea that the free market should ever play any role in any human endeavor.

166 AndrewL August 23, 2017 at 11:42 am

Not analogous. Walmart and Cinemas choose not to sell certain types of content, Gab is not content, it is a platform for content to be distributed. It would be like Walmart refusing to sell DVD players because DVD players could be used to watch NC-17 movies that are on DVDs.

167 prior_test3 August 23, 2017 at 11:59 am

Actually, in Google’s case, thoroughly analogous, as Axa provided the very link to download the Gab Android app from Gab itself – https://gab.ai/

And though Gab can be used to transmit content, the software to do so is generally considered a product (if Gab is GPL’d, though, we could have a slightly more interesting discussion concerning whether Gab’s source code is content in and of itself.)

168 Axa August 23, 2017 at 2:11 pm

Not precisely DVD players but Kindles…….Walmart stopped selling Amazon’s Kindles a few years ago. The flat thingy is a platform for content distribution, is this an attack on free speech?

169 Mark August 23, 2017 at 12:09 pm

Your analogy misses the point. The businesses here are not refusing to distribute white supremacist content. They are refusing to do business with other businesses because those businesses did business with white supremacists. A more apt analogy would be, if WalMart stopped selling books printed by Company C because Company X had also published a book by David Duke.

170 Alistair August 24, 2017 at 8:41 am

What happens when we take it to the next level?

Refuse to do business with people who do business with people who do business with Nazis?

It’s goddamn quicksand all the way down.

171 Hazel Meade August 23, 2017 at 10:42 am

I have no problem with banning white supremacists from lunch counters. Isn’t that exactly what most libertarians and every white supremacist alive believes they should be allowed to do with regard to skin color?
You want a society where it’s okay to ban black people from lunch counters but NOT okay to ban white supremacists from lunch counters?

172 derek August 23, 2017 at 10:58 am

Hazel, you are a white supremacist and a racist.

There. No lunch counter for you.

That was easy. Howard Dean said “If you want to vote for a racist in the White House, then you better vote for Republicans”. Trump isn’t even on the ballot in 2018. So half the country roughly can’t eat at lunch counters.

If you were historically literate you would know that this is the road to madness.

173 derek August 23, 2017 at 11:03 am

Why are you and other so intent on turning the US into the Balkans? You don’t even need to be historically literate to know what happened there, simply older than a child. Historical evils were used by both sides to gin up fervour which was used as a means to political power, piles of bodies be damned. They all had very good reasons to hate the other if they went back far enough. And they all thought that they were justified in burning their neighbor’s house down, even if a decade earlier their son dated your daughter.

Anyone today doing this knows what they are doing, ignorance is not an excuse.

174 Hazel Meade August 23, 2017 at 11:12 am

I DON’T want to turn the US into the Balkans. I want to exclude racial tribalists from the public sphere precisely BECAUSE I want an racially and ethnically inclusive society. Having an ethnically inclusive society requires maintaining social norms which forbid ethnic and racial tribalism. It’s the white supremacists and ethnic nationalists on the right, and the identity politics on the left that is turning the US into the Balkans.

175 R August 23, 2017 at 11:54 am

“It’s the white supremacists and ethnic nationalists on the right, and the identity politics on the left that is turning the US into the Balkans.”

So you are supporting the actions of the pro identity politics Leftists in suppressing the right. Would you also support my actions as a nationalist in the struggle against Leftist identity politics? We see through the libertardian mask, Hazel.

176 Hazel Meade August 23, 2017 at 1:54 pm

No, I’m not supporting them. Identity politics is bad. Being a nationalist is bad. Opposing identity politics does not obligate one to support white nationalism.

177 derek August 23, 2017 at 1:13 pm

So how is it working out?

You know better than this. Your lovely and wonderful goal will be hijacked by those seeking power. That same impulse excused the systematic rape of girls in Rotherham. Racial Harmony was values more than protecting girls from rape.

That is what your idea leads to. Some crank sticks his arm up and mutters about the Joos and everyone loses their mind. Grow up.

178 Hazel Meade August 23, 2017 at 1:55 pm

The idea that we have to choose between racial harmony and not raping people is a false dichotomy.

179 derek August 23, 2017 at 10:44 pm

But that is what it looks like.

There is no such thing as racial harmony. There is only indifference. It is about not caring whether someone is another color or culture or whatever because you have more important things to worry about.

All divisive movements in the last century were all about making people care. The Serb family who lived beside a Croat family for a couple generations were made to care about some injustice or ancient insult. Places like Rotherham came about because the racial complexion of the issue was more important than the actual events. The Chinese scare in my province a century ago was about someone fomenting lots of caring; instead of everyone working to build a life it was about bringing attention to what someone else had or was purported to be taking.

All these instances were about gaining political ascendancy. This week was all about gaining political ascendancy by fomenting divisions. The Democrats and the Media are desperate to have people care because they see it as a way to gain power.

It is also a great way to prevent examination of serious issues. There were multiple murders in Chicago that same weekend, far more people died violently in that Democrat run city than in Charlotteville. The structures for handling aboriginals in Canada are in practice and result extraordinarily racist. But anyone who would even bring up the government structures of the Indian act is pilloried as racist and no politician of any stripe dare suggest a reform, dooming another generation after another of kids to hopelessness and despair.

I consider the accusation of racism as a good sign that someone is trying to deflect attention away from some evil they are perpetrating.

180 Dan Lavatan-Jeltz August 23, 2017 at 11:12 am

What is a lunch counter?

181 Hazel Meade August 23, 2017 at 11:12 am

It’s a metaphor for any kind of public accomodation.

182 prior_test3 August 23, 2017 at 11:32 am

And something not precisely unknown in the U.S. – https://ny.eater.com/maps/a-guide-to-new-yorks-old-time-lunch-counters

183 Mark August 23, 2017 at 12:18 pm

The definition of white supremacist is highly contested these days. Many academics teach that all whites are inherently racist until they purge themselves of their purported privilege, and thus all facially neutral principles like merit, freedom of speech, rule of law, etc, are merely tools and expressions of white privilege and supremacist. If you deny this, Hazel, you are just not “woke”. You’re just benighted by white privilege. Now, what are your views on how white supremacists should be treated?

184 Ohioan August 23, 2017 at 1:38 pm

Since there are so “many” of these academics you mention, how about naming a couple dozen who teach “that all whites are inherently racist until they purge themselves of their purported privilege, and thus all facially neutral principles like merit, freedom of speech, rule of law, etc, are merely tools and expressions of white privilege and supremacist”?

185 msgkings August 23, 2017 at 2:06 pm

Or even three of them?

186 Mark August 23, 2017 at 6:55 pm

Ok, I’ve excerpted this from Barbara Applebaum’s “Critical Whiteness Studies”. Including her, I count 4. But the bibliigraphy will give you a lot more.

Charles Mills19 points out that white supremacy is to race what patriarchy is to gender. White supremacy, as a form of oppression, is to be understood, following Iris Marion Young,20 as a structural concept that is reproduced by the everyday practices of a well-intentioned liberal society. The outcome of white supremacy has deleterious impact on the lives of the racially marginalized, while simultaneously affording benefits or privileges for white subjects as a collective. David Gillborn defines white supremacy as “a comprehensive condition whereby the interests and perceptions of white subjects are continually placed centre stage and assumed as ‘normal.’”21 White supremacy, therefore, presumes a conception of racism as a system of privilege that white people, often unwittingly, perpetuate in what seems to white people as common, unremarkable, and sometimes even seemingly “good” practices and in the implementation of what seems to be racially neutral policies.

187 Mark August 24, 2017 at 9:27 am

In my feed on FB this am

https://www.thecollegefix.com/post/35898/

Now I’m up to 5.

188 Ohioan August 24, 2017 at 11:36 am

Ok, if we assume what you claim is “all whites are inherently racist” is in fact what you claim is it (it isn’t; more below), then what 4 + “a lot more” does not equal “many.” According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 1.53 Million post-Secondary Teachers in the usa. [1] I will spot you 10,000 professors who you claim teach that “all whites are inherently racist,” even though you fail to produce a number that is even 1% of what i am spotting you.

This means that 0.7% of post secondary teachers are teaching what you say. Not many by any means.

Second, there is nothing in your excerpt that claims “all whites are inherently racist.” You can see that white supremacy is defined as:

-a system of privilege that white people (often unwittingly!) participate in
-a societal condition where white interests are presumed as normal or central to society
-a structural concept that is reinforced by either of the above two items

So:

1) this is not “many academics;” it is a few. get some perspective.
2) these people are defining white supremacy and racism itself as a systemic problem that white people often participate in unwittingly; a far cry from what you label as “all whites are racist”

[1] https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm#25-0000

189 Mark August 25, 2017 at 10:31 pm

Your argument is embarrassingly silly. The entire stock of post-secondary teachers is an absurd metric for analysis. I am not contending that many astrophysics teachers or geology departments teach this. The relevant pool for the question “what does ‘white supremacy’ mean?” would be those who, in their teaching, teach what “white supremacy” means. And there, you will find, I have correctly used the word “many”.

Please use your research skills to identify how many of those who teach in a relevant field advance a definition of “white supremacy” drastically different from what I’ve excerpted.

190 Hazel Meade August 23, 2017 at 2:21 pm

Yes, Mark, it’s impossible to be against white supremacy without totally endorsing the identity politics of the far left. There is no middle ground. You’re either with the far left or your with the white supremacists.
So I absolutely HAVE to choose, I’m probably NOT going to choose the white supremacists. Thanks, Mark, you just convinced me to join a radical black nationalist antifa group.

191 Mark August 24, 2017 at 9:28 am

Now you understand intersectionality

192 Mark August 24, 2017 at 9:48 am

I also note that the Unitarian church has begun teaching this version of “white supremacy” as part of its mission.

http://www.uua.org/sites/live-new.uua.org/files/documents/gardinerwilliam/whiteness/guide_individuals.pdf

193 Mark August 23, 2017 at 10:57 am

Boycotts began in western Ireland as a method for the powerless (tenants) to obstruct the powerful (landlords) from enforcing laws that harmed them (evictions that left families homeless). If it becomes a tool for powerful businesses to impose their political preferences on individuals, it seems a perversion of its origins.

I know nothing about VA law, but historically boycotts have been considered illegal restraints of trade, and thus these deep-pocketed companies’ actions could be of interest to a plaintiff-oriented law firm.

194 Art Deco August 23, 2017 at 11:08 am

Why not be consistent and limit the applicability of anti-discrimination law to state agencies and monopolistic common carriers? (And end the humbug wherein racial preferences are deemed consistent with anti-discrimination law because reasons and the humbug incorporated into federal judges pretending to be psychometricians). Let the viture-signaling tech companies do what they please and let everyone else do what they please.

195 Plucky August 23, 2017 at 11:47 am

For my 2 cents, I think the strongest ground (both legally and politically) for opposing Apple’s & Google’s actions here are on their anti-competitiveness. As you point out, the problem isn’t that they’re exercising editorial judgement, but that they are implicitly colluding against a competitor. Limiting the objection to the anti-competitive aspect is something both left and right can get behind (perhaps for different reasons), and which has the best limiting principle for libertarians worried about the precedent set by government involvement

196 Sigivald August 23, 2017 at 2:01 pm

Tricky, though.

Is Gab “competing” with Apple here, is the question?

Apple*, in this context, is selling a phone platform, which Gab isn’t.

Apple doesn’t have a “social media application or platform at all, so how can Gab be “competition” that Apple is keeping down?

Keeping Gab out of the App Store hurts Gab, absolutely … but what Apple product/service does it unfairly help by doing so?

We need the latter half of that to make an anti-trust/anti-competition legal case, don’t we?

(* Google has a social media platform that nobody actually uses, so it is at least notionally a competitor.

But Google can only keep things out of the store it runs, the Google Play store.

The analysis breaks down a bit because apart from the tiny percentage of people who use a Google Branded device, Android users aren’t locked into the Google Play store … or if they are, it’s by their phone maker or service provider.

And of course, Android devices using Play by default let you tweak a setting and use non-Play stores, too … so it’s a really tough case to make.)

197 KevinH August 23, 2017 at 11:51 am

I think the right answer to this question is the answer to another question:

How similar is doxing to yelling “fire” in a crowded theater? I’m not sure I’m buying Gab’s assertion that they only permit speech that would be covered by the first amendment. I think they might be permitting speech that does not pass the public safety test.

On the broader worries, I’m pretty sympathetic. It isn’t really all that good that news has such choke points. I hadn’t heard that claim about Airbnb before, but I’m going look into it for sure. For me, that would be the red line. The approach of guilt by association has never worked out well in the long run.

198 msgkings August 23, 2017 at 12:40 pm

Agreed, don’t rent to Nazis, and don’t let Nazis use your platform, but don’t punish non-Nazis for transacting with Nazis.

199 Hazel Meade August 23, 2017 at 2:01 pm

I’m not sure if I agree with banning Gab, but it might be that the platform has been taken over by racist elements precisely because they can’t talk on other platforms. If that’s the case, I could see why Google might decide not to support a platform that is used almost exclusively by white supremacists.
Again, I don’t know what percentage of Gab users are racist or white supremacist or whatnot. it could be 10% or 70%.

200 derek August 23, 2017 at 10:51 pm

You do know that the phrase ‘yelling fire in a crowded theatre’ was a judge passing judgement on anti-war protesters.

Evidence held sufficient to connect the defendants with the mailing of printed circulars in pursuance of a conspiracy to obstruct the recruiting and enlistment service.

The wonderful Woodrow Wilson years, a Democrat who worked to prevent blacks from working in the civil service.

As I have said many times I’m all for people giving full expression to their ugly thoughts.

201 Mark August 23, 2017 at 12:26 pm

I wonder how someone would reconcile – in a principled, rule of law way – the traditional proposition of the progressive movement that
“Big businesses infringe on freedom to a more dangerous extent than small ones” with (a) a defense of the refusals to serve here by Apple, Google & AirBnb, and (b) punishments of mom & pop bakeries for refusing to supply wedding cakes to gay marriages.

202 FYI August 23, 2017 at 12:41 pm

Well, I tend to agree with some left leaning people here in calling this post a bit hypocritical. To criticize Google and Apple here is to admit that they are monopolies and that markets have no way to break such monopolies. If we go down this road, not only speech gets controlled by government (which ironically is what Google and Apple might be trying to avoid) but we are also giving more value to anti-trust laws on the basis of curbing free speech…

Of course I don’t agree with their decision, but I think we have to let this one go. Private companies have no obligation in providing any help to anyone to disseminate their ideas. We should only make sure that government is no involved in any of this and that physical violence is not acted out.

203 prior_test3 August 23, 2017 at 1:18 pm

Absolutely correct.

204 prior_test3 August 23, 2017 at 6:12 pm

Of course, I would be of a completely different opinion if they were banning a group to which I was sympathetic.

205 prior_test3 August 23, 2017 at 1:17 pm

Addendum – nothing in this world is censorship free, if one considers absolutely all content to be covered by this statement – ‘Content uploaded to the decentralized LBRY network remains publicly accessible so long as the community finds it valuable and continues to host it.’

The very first piece of child pornography uploaded and distributed within this network (it is a given that any ‘censorship free’ network will face this challenge) will be a fascinating test of LBRY’s commitment to being ‘censorship free’ when five people within the community decide that it is valuable and continue to host it. Even the Pirate Bay, not a place noted for being concerned about how corporations or governments view its actions, is extremely vigilant in ensuring that it in no way, shape, or form provides even the least bit of assistance to those wishing to distribute child pornography, even when the child pornographers claim that they are being censored.

One would assume, in the real world, that LBRY happily censors child pornography, and will fully cooperate with the proper authorities in such cases.

For those old enough to remember, the case of Traci Lords is illuminating – ‘In May 1986, law enforcement discovered she had been underage while making all but one of her hardcore films. Distributors and video rental stores were ordered to remove all her videos to avoid the risk of prosecution for trafficking in child pornography.’ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traci_Lords Cooperation is essential to avoid being charged in such cases.

206 Sigivald August 23, 2017 at 1:53 pm

Examine their claim closely – as quoted, the claim is that they’ll distribute anything the First Amendment protects.

Which, under pretty well settled precedent, does not include that content.

They don’t seem to claim to be “censorship free”, just “free of willy-nilly private party viewpoint censorship”, in my analysis.

(Or of “censorship by States other than the US”; presumably they won’t tailor their requirements to whatever the PRC decides to vanish this week.)

207 Sigivald August 23, 2017 at 1:54 pm

(Wait, nevermind – I was confusing their claim with Gab’s claim.

Scratch all that; I have no idea what the heck LBRY might do with kitty pron.)

208 prior_test3 August 23, 2017 at 2:06 pm

Neither do I, to be honest, but this sounds simply naive, to be extremely charitable. From their essay at https://lbry.io/what – ‘LBRY is the first digital marketplace to be controlled by the market’s participants rather than a corporation or other 3rd-party. It is the most open, fair, and efficient marketplace for digital goods ever created, with an incentive design encouraging it to become the most complete.

At the highest level, LBRY does something extraordinarily simple. LBRY creates an association between a unique name and a piece of digital content, such as a movie, book, or game. This is similar to the domain name system that you are most likely using to access this very post.’

Followed later by a section called Combating the Ugly, which completely slides by this particular issue entirely. What is really amusing is how they basically seem to be following in Kim Dotcom’s footsteps (“my users infringe – my revenue is just coincidental”). Why they would expect a better result escapes me completely. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Dotcom

209 Sigivald August 23, 2017 at 1:51 pm

AirBnb took it even one step further and “jettisoned the accounts of users it suspected of renting rooms to attendees of the “Unite the Right” event.”

If that’s true, it’s crazy.

Unless my understanding of how AirBnB works is mistaken, users wouldn’t have any way to know why a guest was renting a room, nor was there any particular reason why – beforehand – a user should have known that a notional reason of “to attend a political rally” was “to go to a Leni Riefenstal re-enactment white supremacy thing”.

(Even if we grant that renting to such a person is so heinous as to deserve a ban – that’s AirBnB’s stupid business decision to make, as a private actor – it could only be so if done knowingly.

Punishing random users for renting a room to someone who turned out to be a horrible person is nonsense.)

210 James August 23, 2017 at 11:12 pm

> I also fear that Google and Apple haven’t thought very far down the game tree

The hubris of academics never ceases to amaze.

Google and Apple each have several dozen people on their payroll who are on average smarter than you, and are paid ten times what you are to spend a substantial fraction of their time considering such issues.

The odds that you’ve hit upon some insight that they missed is nil.

211 Art Deco August 24, 2017 at 4:31 am

Google and Apple each have several dozen people on their payroll who are on average smarter than you, and are paid ten times what you are to spend a substantial fraction of their time considering such issues.

That’s nice. Tim Cook is donating a seven-figure sum of money to a sleazy direct-mail mill long exposed as a sleazy direct-mail mill, so it would seem there’s room for improvement in the realm of ‘considering such issues’.

212 prior_test3 August 24, 2017 at 5:07 am

The ADL is a sleazy direct-mail mill? Who knew? https://www.jta.org/2017/08/17/news-opinion/united-states/apple-ceo-tim-cook-says-company-will-donate-1-million-to-adl

Possibly, even worse, it appears that the ADL has an extremely long history of being extremely anti-Nazi.

213 Careless August 24, 2017 at 12:41 pm

Yes, PA, SPLC=ADL.

214 Alistair August 24, 2017 at 9:27 am

After the Damore saga, I’m no longer convinced Google and Apple are as clever as they have appeared.

Put it another way, the individual IQ of members of an organisation is only weakly linked to the IQ of the organisation collectively. Bureaucratic and political incentives dominate “smarts”. Look at NASA….

215 Jay Dee August 24, 2017 at 12:24 pm

Google’s excuses are vacuous at best. Google is banning Gab because it’s cutting into its business.

216 Jack August 25, 2017 at 5:33 am

I would make a different analogy – it’s certainly not “like the government deciding which papers could be published”, but what it is like is publishing houses deciding which books or papers they would publish. Which is exactly what they do and always have done. Cranks could always self-publish, usually on grimy paper with ink that stains your hands because major publishers wouldn’t deal with them. In the same way, any crank can set up a website and no one can stop them if they host it themselves. But you can’t force publishers (which is what those providing a digital platform like Android are) to allow any type of speech.

217 msgkings August 25, 2017 at 11:51 am

Bingo, end thread. Finally.

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